Hero women save Heathfield kittens

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THANKS to the keen hearing of staff at a town waste tip and dedicated care by a veterinary nurse, three, tiny day-old kittens escaped a lonely, cold and frightening death.

Last Monday Jane Lally, manager of Heathfield’s waste facility near Burwash Road, heard a faint squeaking from inside giant industrial bin.

She and a colleague climbed into the bin, turned over a ton of rubbish and found a bag tied at the neck with three tiny kittens inside. They were so young they still had afterbirths and umbilical cords attached.

She took the babies to Heathfield Vets in Hailsham Road where they were examined carefully and given cat milk substitute as there was no way of knowing whether they had sucked vital colostrum from their mother. It was clear they needed round the clock care if they were to survive.

Trained veterinary nurse Kelly Chapman, 22 took the kittens, one tabby, one silver tabby and white black and white, back to the Frenches Farm home she shares with her partner.

They were placed in a comfy bed and given a stuffed toy to cuddle up to.

Kelly said: “They were crying quite a lot as they’d been very cold and needed lots of care. I used a tiny syringe to feed them milk – I went to bed at 9pm, got up at 10.30pm, 12.30am and then every two hours through the night. We contacted Raystede Animal Centre at Ringmer who collected them on Tuesday morning.

Raystede animal care assistant Angela Turner said: “Leaving them to die a slow death in this way is cruel and unacceptable.

“We would urge anyone who ends up with an unwanted litter to contact their nearest rescue centre and to get their pet neutered. This is a very vulnerable time for the kittens as without vital antibodies from their mother’s milk they could be left open to infection. These babies should really have stayed with mum until they were eight weeks old which is when she would stop feeding them.”

The kittens will stay at Raystede until they are nine weeks old when they will be re-homed. Anyone interested in re-homing or donating should ring 01825 840252 or visit www.raystede.org.